The 53rd meeting of the GST Council has concluded with several significant decisions announced. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted key outcomes, including exemptions and rate adjustments aimed at making services and goods more affordable for consumers.

Exemptions from GST ๐Ÿš‰๐Ÿš—

  1. Railway Services and Platform Tickets:
    • Platform tickets and battery-operated car services provided by Indian Railways are now exempt from GST. This move will make these services cheaper in the coming days.
  2. Milk Cartons:
    • The council has recommended a uniform 12% GST rate on all milk cartons, whether made of steel, iron, or aluminum. This decision is expected to help apple producers in regions like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.


Uniform GST Rates on Carton Boxes ๐Ÿ“ฆ

The council has also suggested a uniform 12% GST rate on all types of carton boxes. This uniformity aims to streamline the tax structure and aid producers across various sectors.


Key Decisions on Specific Items:

Item GST Rate
Fire Water Sprinklers 12%
Solar Cookers 12%
Hostel Services for Students Up to โ‚น20,000/month per person – Exempt

Additional Measures ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ’ณ

  • Biometric Aadhaar Authentication:
    • Nationwide biometric Aadhaar authentication will be introduced to tackle fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices.
  • Interest and Penalty Waiver:
    • Approved under Section 73 of the GST Act for demand notices, this waiver aims to ease compliance and reduce financial burdens on businesses.


Appeals in Tax Tribunals ๐Ÿ“œ

The council recommended limits for filing appeals:

  • โ‚น20 lakh for tax officers before the appellate tribunal
  • โ‚น1 crore for appeals in High Courts
  • โ‚น2 crore for appeals in the Supreme Court


Upcoming Discussions on Fertilizers ๐ŸŒพ

The council has sent a request to the Group of Ministers (GoM) to rationalize GST rates on fertilizers, currently taxed at 5%. There has been a long-standing demand for exemptions in this sector.


Future Meetings ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted that due to time constraints, only limited topics were discussed. The next GST meeting is scheduled after the budget session to cover additional issues. The last meeting was held on October 7, 2023, after an eight-month interval.


Summary of Key Announcements ๐Ÿ“

  • Exemptions:
    • Railway services and platform tickets
    • Battery-operated car services
  • Uniform GST Rates:
    • 12% on all milk cartons and carton boxes
    • 12% on fire water sprinklers and solar cookers

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